Zakk Wylde readies 'Black Vatican' disc, cross-Canada tour

WENN.COM

WENN.COM

Jane Stevenson, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:47 PM ET

There are Black Sabbath fans and then there is Black Label Society’s Zakk Wylde. The 47-year-old guitar great not only played with Ozzy Osbourne for two decades, but named one of his three sons Sabbath in honour of Osbourne’s iconic metal band.

And, believe it or not, it could have been worse.

“The original name was Sabbath Page Wielandt 'Things My Dad Likes' Wylde,” said Wylde, a married father of four with an eldest daughter.

“That was the original complete name. So we just stuck it with Black Sabbath, Jimmy Page and my dad.”

And does Ozzy approve?

“Yeah, he thinks it’s hysterical,” said Wylde. “He’s like, ‘What the f--k are you doing man? You really named him that?’” he said imitating Ozzy’s Birmingham mumble. “I go, ‘Why, you don’t like Black Sabbath?’”

We caught up with the New Jersey-born, California-based Wylde, who will also release a new BLS studio album, Catacombs of the Black Vatican (the name of his studio), on April 8, just as he was preparing to come to Canada for a February run of solo club shows coming off 2013’s live stripped-down double CD, Unblackened.

“I’m bringing my man thong for the summer weather up there,” he joked of our country’s worst winter in recent memory adding: “It’s beyond silly.”

What can Canadians expect from the tour?

We expect the shows to be very fierce and we’re looking forward to it.

What can you tell fans about Catacombs of the Black Vatican, your first BLS studio album since 2009’s The Order of the Black?

The songs are all based off riffs. It’s just like Zeppelin and Sabbath. Everything’s based off of riffs. And obviously we have the acoustic songs in there, the mellow stuff, because as much as I love listening to Black Dog, I love listening to Going to California too. It’s a new batch of brew for our Black Label family. It’s not like, ‘Oh, we made a jazz fusion album’... Like I always tell everyone, ‘What’s the difference between this one and the last one?’ Well, basically it has a different title... Other than that, it’s pretty much the same.

Obviously Sabbath has been back with a new album, tour and a recent Grammy win. Did you catch their live show last year?

We saw them. It was phenomenal. Ozzy sounded great. The band sounded awesome. I’m just superhappy for them all way round. Them winning the Grammy, it just signified, obviously, they won for the new album (2013’s 13) or whatever, but to me it just signified them winning for their complete body of work. I just think it’s kind of silly, Sabbath won this year for the 13 album and Zeppelin won for Celebration Day (the live recording from their December 2007 reunion show at London’s O2). But I’m like going, ‘They’ve never won a Grammy in the height of their power.’

What did you learn from your time with Ozzy?

All my years with Ozzy were amazing. That’s where I grew up and that’s my home. And it will always be part of who I am and I’m proud of that and I should be. Like I always said with Oz, ‘Nobody in the band around here is going to die of a drug overdose or a bizarre gardening accident. It’s going to be a brain aneurysm from constant laughing.’

You were so young when you started with him, did that make a difference?

I was 19 years old. My philosophy always is ‘Lions hang out with Lions,’ so it’s still that way to this day. With the guys that roll in Black Label we don’t have any morons rolling with us, there’s no hyenas. It’s a bunch of lions. Guys that want to work, guys that want to succeed, and guys that want to win. ... You work hard and you don’t be an a--hole. It’s really the truth.

Is it hard to be on the road sober now since being diagnosed with blood clots in 2009?

I got 20 plus years of drinking, us crying, laughing, having a good time, and no farm animals got hurt. Here’s the philosophy: Have a good time. When you know it gets in the way of you ruling the world, then if you get to drink like a navy seal, then you can stop like a Navy SEAL. And that’s pretty much it.

Twitter: @JaneCStevenson

Jane.stevenson@sunmedia.ca


Videos

Photos